General Robotics Limited




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Role and contribution

GRL will design the overall software architecture for the new system and produce the graphical user interface for the system operator. It will also be heavily involved in the system integration and interfacing to the ROV.



GRL was founded in 1988 to conduct work on control systems for ROVs. In 1996 the personnel from the robotics and control group of Technical Software Consultants Limited moved to GRL bringing across expertise in ROV simulation and manipulator control systems. GRL is a small, high tech company with unique knowledge and experience in software control and simulation systems for the offshore oil and gas industry. It is currently developing advanced, high-resolution computer graphics control and simulation systems for a range of systems from offshore ROVs and manipulators to conventional factory robots. GRL has an unparalleled range of simulation and mathematical modelling abilities and has also conducted work on machine vision, fatigue analysis, submersible pilot training systems, and submarine simulation.



GRL has two workstations used for software and graphical development (Pentium III, 500/800 MHz with OpenGL graphics accelerator cards) and one used for CAD and graphical model creation (double processor Pentium Pro, 200MHz, with OpenGL graphics accelerator card). Other resources include a joystick controller for ROV manipulator control and input simulation.


Key personnel

The main personnel working on this project will be Martin Hall and Trevor Larkum.

  • Martin Hall has a PhD from Heriot-Watt University in the hydrodynamics of floating systems. He has been the leader in the design and coding of software and electronics systems for ROV simulation, manipulator control and submersible pilot training.
  • Trevor Larkum has an MSc in Industrial Robotics from Cranfield University and has been involved in the coding, interfacing and testing of ROV and manipulator control systems. Both Martin Hall and Trevor Larkum were involved in the former Basic Research VENICE project (Brite_Euram 3) when part of TSC Ltd (a VENICE partner).

Recent pertinent publications

  • T. Larkum and M. Hall, "ROV Control Software finally goes modular", International Ocean Systems, Jan/Feb 2000 Vol. 4 No. 1, pp 4-6.
  • T. Heale and T. Larkum, "ARM and Rovsim: Extending our Reach", Industrial Robot Journal, Vol. 26 No. 3 1999, pp 202-8.
  • M. Allerton, T. Larkum, W. Lucas, D. Gibson, "Diverless Robot Wet FCA Welding", Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering", July 5-9 1998, Lisbon, Portugal.


 Last Update:  May 17, 2001